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Mohammed Ben Sulayem | FIA president

FIA president: Accuser has 'not had the guts to come and see me'

Mohammed Ben Sulayem was placed under investigation earlier this year before being cleared following an investigation.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem
To news overview © XPBimages

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has hit back at his accuser, insisting they “haven't had the guts to come and see me”.

Earlier this year, Ben Sulayem was placed under investigation after allegations were made against him.

Ben Sulayem was accused of attempting to interfere with the result of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after Fernando Alonso was penalised. He was also alleged to have pushed for stopping the certification of the Las Vegas Strip Circuit.

Ben Sulayem was subsequently cleared following an investigation and speaking to AFP News Agency, the 62-year-old revealed he is aware of who filed the accusations.

“They haven't had the guts to come and see me,” he said. “Honestly, I can stand up straight, look you in the eye and tell you that I'm a sportsman and I play by the rules.

"I know who is behind all this, but I cannot say."

'Convicted' by the public

After he was cleared following an investigation, the FIA Member Clubs from the Americas suggested legal action should be taken following the accusations.

In response, Ben Sulayem thanked his colleagues for the support he received as he feels he has already been “convicted” by the public.

"I am overwhelmed by the support of the FIA members,” he said. “People need to understand that it is the members who put me where I am.

"It is not the media or the Formula 1 teams who are the origin. I respect them, but I was not elected to care about their opinion or anyone's opinion of me. I care about what was promised in my program.

"I wish the accusations against me were just accusations, but I have been convicted in the court of public opinion. I have nothing to hide."

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